"I want to make this a better and nicer country to live in."
- David Cameron on Today this morning.
The Today programme was unaccountably unable to find anyone to put the contrary point of view and who aspired to make this country a worse and more nasty place to live in. So no balance of opinion was presented. Poor show.
The silliest remark I heard yesterday was the Tories' statement that Dennis Skinner's outburst in the Commons was the kind of thing that puts people off politics.
Surely the exact opposite is the case.
For those who missed it, Dennis Skinner spoke about the coalfields and then said "the only thing that was growing then were the lines of coke in front of Boy George and the rest of them...."
This was a reference to the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, of whom the News of the World published a photo taken at a party showing white powder on a table that may have been cocaine or may have been bicarbonate of soda that someone was taking for a dicky stomach. (that phrasing dictated by my legal team).
Being partial to puns, I quite enjoyed Dennis's combination of humour and abuse which is only what we enjoy daily in the great political cartoonists like Steve Bell. But it was unparliamentary and Dennis was expelled from the chamber. The only mystery was Dennis's assertion that because it had been in the News of the World it must be true.
Like a dormant volcano, Dennis doesn't erupt very often these days so when he does it is cause for celebration.
However, he has now virtually created a new constitutional convention at the State Opening of Parliament with his annual heckling of Black Rod when the latter summons MPs to the Lords for the Queen's Speech. After a series of intruders at Buckingham Palace, Dennis shouted "Did she lock the door behind her?"
On another occasion, he observed of Black Rod "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label."
I think his last one was "Has she brought Camilla with her?"
But his best interjections have occurred during debates over the years. At the height of the scandal over Cecil Parkinson's extra-marital affair, Parkinson was making a speech from the Government bench with one hand in his pocket. "Stop playing with yourself!" shouted Dennis.
No sooner has the grief-fest over the death of wife abuser and drink-driver George Best mercifully subsided than we get a national Festival of Remembrance to mark the anniversary of the death of the cretinous John Lennon.
I could avoid most of this nonsense but for the fact that it has also infected Radio Four which claims to be an 'intelligent speech' station. Mini-tributes have been inserted between programmes and this morning that arch-reactionary the Chief Rabbi gave a eulogy to Lennon in his 'Thought For the Day'. That he was able to do so perhaps tells you a lot about Lennon.
I write this as someone who, as a thirteen year old, sat through three consecutive showings of A Hard Day's Night at my local cinema and, to the fury of my mother, cut my hair into a Beatles fringe.
At that same age, my intellectual hero was Bertrand Russell who, despite his advanced years had recently been carried off in a police van after protesting against the nuclear arms race.
I never confused the boy from Liverpool of modest talents and limited intellect with the philosopher, or vice versa. That so many intelligent people since then have taken seriously the arrogant and self-deluded garbage that poured from Lennon's mouth has never ceased to amaze me.
So, not for the first time, I give thanks for Julie Burchill, even though she goes slightly further than I would.
Asked by the Guardian about her recollections of Lennon's death, she said:
"I don't remember where I was but I was really pleased he was dead, as he was a wife-beater, gay-basher, anti-Semite and all-round bully-boy."